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The Caves of Steel is a novel by Isaac Asimov. It is essentially a detective story, and illustrates an idea Asimov advocated, that science fiction is a flavor that can be applied to any literary genre, rather than a limited genre itself. Specifically, in the book Asimov's Mysteries, he claims that he wrote the novel in response to the claim by editor John W. Campbell that mystery and science fiction were incompatible genres.
Campbell had claimed that the science fiction writer could invent "facts" in his imaginary future that the reader would not know. Asimov countered that there were rules implicit in the art of writing mysteries, and that the clues would be in the plot, even if they were not obvious, or were deliberately obfuscated.
He went on to write several mysteries in both novel and short-story form, as well as more mainstream mysteries such as The Death Dealers and Murder at the ABA which had elements of science, but were not science fiction.
A television adaptation was made by the BBC and shown in 1964: only a few short excerpts still exist. In June 1989, the book was adapted by Bert Coules as a radio play for the BBC, with Ed Bishop as Elijah Baley and Sam Dastor as R. Daneel Olivaw.